Rice Design Alliance Charrette, Willow Waterhole Park, Texas, Date, RDA Architecture News, Design
Rice Design Alliance 2010 Charrette, Houston, USA : Winners
Rice Design Alliance Event – Willow Waterhole Park, Houston, Texas
Willow Waterhole Awakens
At rdAgents’ Annual Design Competition
2010 Charrette Winners Announced
HOUSTON (12 August 2010) – Dozens of designers came out on Saturday for an intensive, all-day challenge to revitalize Willow Waterhole Park in Southwest Houston. RDA’s young professionals group, rdAgents, hosted the competition that sought to maximize the 279-acre greenspace of Willow Waterhole, making the park a more sophisticated nature preserve.
Like last year’s charrette that focused on Galveston’s Seawall, the day’s program was divided into three tracks. The 12 participating teams of architects, graphic designers, and those passionate about the park chose between a Master Plan Track, which considered the park as a whole, an Architecture Track, and a Graphic Design Track. Participants were charged with taking the mostly vacant greenspace and designing measures to promote nature, unify the six detention sites of the park, increase public outreach and awareness, create opportunity for revenue, and showcase creativity and ingenuity.
The entries were blindly judged Monday afternoon by Art Storey, Executive Director of the Harris County Public Infrastructure Department; Ben Crawford, Senior Associate, Senior Project Designer, HOK; Howard Sacks, President of Willow Waterhole Greenspace Conservancy; Matt Baumgarten, Associate with SWA; and Roksan Okan-Vick, Executive Director of the Houston Parks Board. Winners were announced Monday night at a festive reception at Rice School of Architecture.
The team from TBG Partners won “Best Overall” prize for their strong representation of park connectivity. Team member Pete Simpson says, “Our main goal for the project was to make connections. We wanted to connect the park through contiguous greenspace for park users and wildlife internally, as well as connect to the community externally.” The team accomplished this by considering the ecosystems in the broader Houston region, with an iconic nature center, amphitheater, and viewing tower for the park.
Clark Condon Associates won “Best Master Plan” for their well-rounded, straightforward, nature-first vision. The team’s ability to unify the six disparate parts of the park were striking to the judges. The “Best Architecture” award went to Genevieve Buentello, Antonio Flamenco, Mike Garcia, and Camillo Parra. The team’s visual articulation of innovative elements like the multi-level viewing tower partly submerged in water were architecturally appealing. SHW Group’s team took home the prize for “Best Graphic Design Solution.” Judges responded to the team’s elegant response to the existing park plans, and their nod to the natural surrounding environments.
rdAgents, an enhanced membership of the Rice Design Alliance, is a vibrant group of young professionals from diverse careers and backgrounds who champion the built environment in Houston through special events and community activities.
As a network of individuals invested in the future of Houston, rdAgents are just that: individual agents of change who take it upon themselves to make a difference. With their fingers on the pulse of today’s evolving state of design, rdAgents nimbly reflect the knowledge and resources enabling them to highlight fresh talent, advocate design, and build meaningful relationships.
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Pecha Kucha Houston Event image / information from Rice Design Alliance